The second-year quarterback showed his versatility, completing passes to five different players on the series and rushing for a first down.
“I just think [Fields] he’s getting better,” coach Matt Eberflus said. “Like I said the other day, he’s a young player, he needs experience. I think this was a gaming experience for him that he needed to have. He took a huge step forward for himself and our football team by just getting comfortable, running the offense and doing his thing. I thought he did it tonight.”
On the ensuing possession, the Browns’ Cade York missed a 58-yard field goal attempt, giving the Bears the ball at their own 48-yard line. Fields quickly moved the offense down the field with an 18-yard completion to the receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, then David Montgomery picked up 13 yards to get into the red zone. Fields capped the 52-yard, 5-play drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Dante Pettis, extending the Bears’ lead to 14-0 with 13:49 remaining in the half.
The Bears defense created the first takeaway of the night when Greg Stroman Jr. intercepted Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett at the Chicago 38-yard line, creating another scoring opportunity for the offense.
Fields then commanded his third and final touchdown drive, capping it by extending a play with his legs and then throwing 24 yards to a wide-open Cole Kmet in the right corner of the end zone. The quarterback once again completed 5 of 5 passes on the 8-play, 62-yard drive. Kicker Cairo Santos then scored his third extra point, giving the Bears a 21-0 lead with 3:35 remaining in the first half.
“We’re excited where Cole is at,” Eberflus said. “Cole had another good game this game, so we’re excited about where he’s at. He’s been practicing his tail, so he’s been working hard, he’s been blocking at the point. Obviously, he’s catching the ball well out in the open.” and running after the catch. So he has been doing some good things. We are happy [with] where is it.”
In the final two minutes of the second quarter, York made field goals of 57 and 46 yards to cut the Bears’ lead to 21-6.
Montgomery saw his first playing time of the preseason on Saturday, rushing for 28 yards on 9 carries. Pettis got the most targets with the first-team offense, catching 3 of 4 passes for 37 yards. Kmet caught all three targets for 36 yards.
The Bears’ first-team offensive line remained the same with left tackle Braxton Jones, left guard Cody Whitehair, center Sam Mustipher, right guard Teven Jenkins and right tackle Larry Borom all starting for the second straight game.
“Just a good operation overall,” Eberflus said of the offense. “We handled the ball solidly; I thought the game action was nice. Boots and movements were good, we took the completions there. And then we did a good job of handling, got the takeout and scored. That’s complementary football.” Then we ended up giving the ball away. We ended up stopping them and keeping them to three points. That was a good four-point swing for us and that’s probably what happened with the ball game, so it was good.”
The Browns rallied with a pair of fourth-quarter touchdowns to close within a single point at 21-20, but the Bears stopped Cleveland’s two-point conversion attempt with 2:31 remaining to preserve the victory.